Better Than Your Ears

October 16, 2017

Pre-release of LEWITT’s latest flagship microphone LCT 540 SUBZERO at AES NY (Booth #740)

Austrian microphone manufacturer LEWITT flexes its muscles yet again, teasing its latest impressive flagship: the single-pattern large-diaphragm condenser LCT 540 SUBZERO. Its specs show that the R&D team went totally bonkers – giving “super-low self-noise,” “highly sensitive,” and “huge dynamic range” a whole new definition.

“My urge for perfection usually leaves behind a slight undertone of, ‘If only we’d done this-and-that instead of or in addition to…’ – but with the LCT 540 SUBZERO, it’s really hard to find anything that hasn’t been done to make this thing epic. Even for me,” admits LEWITT CEO Roman Perschon. “We questioned A LOT of our endorsers about what they want in a single-pattern microphone. All of them are leading experts in their fields, and they had a huge influence on the final outcome. Their requirements plus lots of very helpful feedback went into developing the LCT 540 SUBZERO, shaping and fine-tuning its crisp, clear sound and turning it into the hero-mic that it now is. From a technical standpoint, “just max out everything” would’ve obviously been a dream assignment for any R&D department – if it weren’t for the caveat that the price shouldn’t be out of this world. But even that worked out just fine. We’ve done a great job on this microphone, and I’m really happy with the result!” concludes Perschon.

The most important feature of any microphone is its overall sonic character – and LEWITT has stuck with its well-known and widely appreciated modern, crystal-clear sound, making the LCT 540 SUBZERO a very capable tool for almost any application. Its premium-quality capsule, together with some very clever circuit design, drops the electrical self-noise to an almost uncanny -1 dB (A) at a sensitivity of 41 mV/Pa, -28 dBV/Pa, and it increases the dynamic range to 132 dB (A) – a true benchmark for studio-grade large-diaphragm condensers. Head of Product Management Moritz Lochner explains: “Everybody thinks 0 dB SPL is the hearing threshold, but that’s in fact only true at 2 kHz. At this point, the LCT 540 SUBZERO actually has self-noise of below -7 dB SPL – hence the name. The acoustic self-noise of 4 dB (A) is caused by random molecules bouncing against the diaphragm. But that’s a cumulative value; if you look at self-noise across the full frequency spectrum, you’ll see that the LCT 540 SUBZERO is all the way below the hearing threshold. It’s literally better than your ears. Describing something frequency-dependent in one single value is nowhere near detailed enough at this level of engineering. We even went and redesigned our self-noise measuring equipment especially for this microphone. To make a long story short: if you want to capture everything without ANY compromise, you’ll need to get an LCT 540 SUBZERO – because ultimately, it’s the details that turn a good recording into something magical.”

The initial small batch of microphones will be available within the next couple of weeks, with final roll-out planned for January 2018. LEWITT is aiming for a very competitive price point, so a street price well below USD 1,000 is to be expected.

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